honorarydoctor (honorarydoctor) wrote,

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The Morbius Build Diary Pt. 1 : Supply Prologue

Hey Gang,

So as we progressed into the fall of 2011, I began thinking over what new costume I wanted to do for Gallifrey One. Due to some snags I had to yet again table my Season 14 Four costume. Postponed again but not forgotten.


More Pics and info

In the meantime I turned to the Classic Who rogues gallery of awesome villains. Characters I've always wanted to do like the Pyramids of Mars Mummy, the Zygon, An Ice Warrior or The Sontaran Linx all spun around in my head. Then after a talk with my good friend Paul Salamoff we hit upon the Morbius Monster. It's classic Who monster in every sense of the word (and technically an evil Time Lord to boot) and pretty can't-miss-it iconic. I had a moment of hesitation thinking it might be too difficult to make in the time and budget I had but Paul assured me it could be done. "I could do this in my sleep!" He proclaimed. So off we go to Tokyo.


While I only have limited novice experience making Who Monsters like the "Revenge" Cyberman, VOC Robot or "Assassin" Master, Paul is no stranger to monster making. Although retired from special effects, Paul has a long list of professional film credits to his name working in monster make-up and SFX for over 12 years. With his generous help and expertise I knew it could be done.

Luckily we had time on our side so it was really a matter of plotting our calendar (we estimated 5-6 solid days for the entire build), our approach and gathering supplies.


The plan of attack was fairly straightforward. Build the body out of foam, mount it on a dance unitard so it could be worn as a suit, texture it, seal it in latex and paint it. The same essentially went for the claw. Finally the Head would be assembled and painted from found objects jury rigging the strange dome/antennae shape. In many ways it was just as old School as the BBC Costume dept in 1976.

Ref pics

So to make the build we gathered, found and bought what we needed. The list included:

Reference pictures and screen grabs.. never leave home without them.
The Morbius Action Figures by CO- (a great 3d reference point but sometimes it had to be ignored in favor of how the creature looked on screen.)

Character Options Morbius Figure

For the main build:
2 sheets (4' by 8') 3/4" thick 1.2 Polyurethane Foam (mattress foam)
2 sheets (4' by 8') 1/8" thick 1.2 Polyurethane Foam (mattress foam)
1 sheets (4' by 8') 1" thick 1.2 Polyurethane Foam (mattress foam)


Acid brushes and chip brushes

About half a sheet of L-200 Foam 2/4" thick
A Gallon of Barge (glue)
About 8 chip Brushes
4 smaller acid brushes
an XL Size black cotton dance leotard

Dance Leotard

Barge All Purpose Cement

A roll of butcher's/Painter's paper
Fresh pack of razor blades
A bag of cotton balls
Box of Large latex gloves
1 Yard of 60" wide Fun Fur

Fun Fur

1 roll of 2" painter's tape
Half a dozen cans of spray adhesive or glue
Half a gallon of latex rubber

Spray Glue

Latex Gloves

About 4 or 5 tubes of acrylic paint (black, amber, brown, yellow)
Small length of cord with thick gauge silver wire for chest stitching
Small spools of yellow and blue wiring
A Pair of cheap boots to mount the feet/legs on.

Costume boot

A Body Form to mount the entire thing on.

Body Form

Mesh and spandex

For the Head:
A plastic brain or mold to make such a brain
2 clear 14" diameter hemispheres for the dome
Plastic Drain pipe covers and connectors
10 ft lengths of red, blue and yellow 14 gauge wire
Circular Lamp stand base
2 red halogen outdoor lightbulbs
Sprinkler piping
Helmet (for me to wear inside the suit and mount the base dome on)
Plank of wood
scraps of spandex
Black mesh
Bottle of superglue and some epoxy glue
Large zipper (to seal the back of the suit)
L brackets plus screws/nuts/washers when required.

Length of cord

Cotton balls

Red halogen lights

Tools required:
Soldering Iron or Heat Gun
Power Drill
Spray gun (latex and paint)
Band Saw (or worst case hack saw)
A disposable tupperware container
Hair clippers
Hair dryer
Belt sander

Trusty hair dryers

I'll explain in more detail where all of this comes into play as I go through each step.. Surprisingly between Paul and myself recycling items from previous projects, we only had to buy about a dozen things on the entire list.


Keep in mind while many of the tools used above certainly made things easier and faster- a lot of the steps can be accomplished with simpler/cheaper tools and some extra muscle grease.

Once most/all of the above was accounted for or purchased we followed in Solon's shoes to begin the assembly of Morbius.

Following the work of Solon

Part II of the build proper begins with The LEGS of Morbius!

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